The Q&A Archives: Bug Identification

Question: I?ve noticed a small black insect with reddish/orange spots on the top of its abdomen and about 3/8" in length in my garden this year. There were more in spring than now, but I still am finding them occasionally. I haven?t noticed any damage from them but am wondering what they are. I haven?t notioiced them before and I?ve had this garden going for ten years now.

Answer: If the bugs were alligator-shaped, they were probably immature lady bugs. The lady bug larvae is a dull black color with yellow or orangish spots, has a crinkled looking abdomen and is shaped like a tiny alligator. Be thankful if that's what you have; lady bugs are extremely beneficial in the garden.

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